archive-com.com » COM » 9 » 911OMISSIONREPORT.COM

Total: 693

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Social Security now seen to run permanent deficits
    be strained by the growing number of baby boomers retiring and applying for benefits The projected deficits add a sense of urgency to efforts to improve Social Security s finances For much of the past 30 years the program has run big surpluses which the government has borrowed to spend on other programs Now that Social Security is running deficits the federal government will have to find money elsewhere to help pay for benefits So long as Social Security was running surpluses policymakers could put off the need to fix the program said Andrew Biggs a former deputy commissioner at the Social Security Administration who is now a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute Now that the system is running deficits it simply becomes clear that we need to act on Social Security reform President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday night that he wanted a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations The president however has not embraced recommendations from a debt commission he appointed last year including one that would gradually increase the full retirement age from 67 to 69 over the next 65 years But Obama did lay down some markers for making Social Security closer to solvent We must do it without putting at risk current retirees the most vulnerable or people with disabilities without slashing benefits for future generations and without subjecting Americans guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market Obama said The program has been supported by a 6 2 percent payroll tax paid by both workers and employers In December Congress passed a one year tax cut for workers to 4 2 percent The lost revenue is to be repaid to Social Security from general revenue funds meaning it will add to

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/social_security_deficits.html (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive


  • U.S. companies face $409 billion pension deficit: study
    and liabilities totaled about 1 6 trillion Mercer said The S P 1500 is a broad portfolio representing large cap mid cap and small cap segments of the U S equity markets The shortfall suggests that more companies will have to pump cash into their pension plans to ensure they can meet their commitments to retirees Mercer estimated pension expenses will increase to about 70 billion this year from 10

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/pension_deficit.html (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • States Warned of $2 Trillion Pensions Shortfall
    citizens will be cut back Mr Kramer an influential figure in the Democratic party and still a member of the investment council that oversees the New Jersey pension fund has been an outspoken critic of public pension accounting which allows for the averaging of investment gains and losses over a number of years through a process called smoothing Using data from the states the Pew Center on the States a research group has estimated a funding gap for pension healthcare and other non pension benefits such as life assurance of at least 1 000 billion as of the end of fiscal 2008 Chris Christie the Republican governor of New Jersey said in his state of the state speech last week that without reform the unfunded liability of the state s pension system would rise from 54 billion now to 183 billion within 30 years Mr Kramer s estimates are based on the assets and liabilities of the top 25 public pension funds at the end of 2010 The gap has risen from an estimate of more than 2 000 billion at the end of 2009 He also used a market rate analysis based on the accounting used by corporate pension funds rather than the 8 percent rate of return that most public funds use in calculations Pension liabilities are not included in state and local government debt figures Concerns about the financial health of local governments have sparked warnings of a rise in defaults for cities and towns and a sell off in the 3 000 billion municipal bond market where they raise money Last week the interest rate on 30 year top rated municipal debt rose above 5 percent for the first time in about two years Amid the volatility New Jersey had to cut the size of a

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/pension_shortfall.html (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Death Derivatives Emerge From Pension Risks of Living Too Long
    life expectancy rates If pensioners die sooner than expected investors profit If they live longer investors must compensate the pension fund for the additional costs it faces Investors may be attracted to such bets because longevity trends aren t linked to movements in equities bonds or commodity markets said David Blake director of the pensions institute at Cass Business School in London who has worked with JPMorgan on the derivatives The complexity and risk involved in longevity assets with timelines of more than 20 years means banks are looking to create bonds that offer 5 percent to 9 percent in annual returns according to Guy Coughlan former head of longevity structuring at JPMorgan Returns as high as the mid teens are possible he said Structural Problems Investors remain unconvinced Not knowing whether a bet on a group of pensioners life spans is correct for decades prevents hedge funds such as London based Leadenhall Capital Partners LLP from entering the marketplace There are big structural problems with the longevity market said Luca Albertini CEO of Leadenhall which has 120 million under management and invests in insurance linked securities such as catastrophe bonds used to help cover hurricanes and other extreme risks With clients able to withdraw investments only every month or quarter the only way I can invest is if the market is truly liquid he said No one has proven that to me yet Subprime mortgages sold in the past decade were the genesis of the biggest financial meltdown since the Great Depression Investment banks passed the risk of borrowers defaulting to the capital markets by packaging or securitizing the loans into bonds and selling them to investors and one another Fully Collateralized Collateralized debt obligations were created and sold in such volume that when mortgage holders defaulted governments in the U S and Europe had to bail out the financial system Banks are now looking to investors in much the same way to securitize the risk of pensioners living longer than expected Securities based on life expectancy don t hold the same risks as those linked to subprime mortgages because they are fully collateralized minimizing the risk from a counterparty failing to meet its obligations Coughlan said Cass Business School s Blake said it s unfair to compare the securitization of mortality expectations to the subprime mortgage market Subprime was highly leveraged Blake said This is different Still longevity transfers expose investors to the credit risk of issuers for many years Once a pension fund agrees to transfer its assets in return for protection against pensioners living longer than expected they are tied into a long term contract that can be difficult to unwind said David McCourt senior policy adviser at the U K s National Association of Pension Funds That means the insurer bank or hedge fund that a pension plan chooses to deal with is important he said No Going Back There s a massive counterparty risk McCourt said People say insurance companies don t go bust

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/death_derivatives.html (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Veterans Agency Made Secret Deal Over Benefits
    lost interest insurance lawyer Bridgeland says Survivors would have a very strong claim for interest earned by Prudential on their money he says Prudential spokesman Bob DeFillippo says his company is following the terms of its agreement with the VA Prudential is in compliance with its contract with the Department of Veterans Affairs he says DeFillippo declined to comment on whether Prudential was in compliance with its contract between 1999 and September 2009 or to answer any other questions Prudential chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Strangfeld declined to comment for this story Useful Service In July DeFillippo said Prudential s retained asset account was a useful service for bereaved relatives of soldiers For some families the account is the difference between earning interest on a large amount of money and letting it sit idle he said Survivors can withdraw some or all of their money at any time he said Veterans Affairs Chief of Staff John Gingrich says the agency approved use of the Alliance Account because it wanted to help survivors We needed to give an option to individuals that allowed them more flexibility and time to react to the tragic family situation Gingrich says Verbal Agreement VA spokeswoman Katie Roberts declined to say when Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki who was appointed by President Barack Obama in January 2009 learned of the existence of the 1999 verbal agreement and the 2009 amendment She also declined to make Shinseki available for comment The VA official who verbally agreed in 1999 to allow Prudential to change the terms of the 1965 contract and begin offering retained asset accounts was Thomas Lastowka the VA s director for insurance according to Dennis Foley a VA attorney Prudential began sending Alliance Account kits to soldiers beneficiaries in June 1999 Foley says the VA and Prudential would have been better off if they had put their 1999 agreement in writing Could that have been done better Foley asks Probably Best practice would have been to legally memorialize it at the time Foley says the 1999 changes to the 1965 contract were valid even if they weren t in writing because they were made by mutual agreement by people empowered to make such decisions It was changed by somebody who was authorized to change it he says Contract Terms The language of both the 1965 contract and the 2009 amendment make clear that Newark New Jersey based Prudential was required to adhere to the original terms until 2009 regardless of any handshake agreements in 1999 insurance lawyer Bridgeland says The 1965 contract says any alterations must be made in writing No change in the Group Policy shall be valid unless evidenced by an amendment thereto it says No Agent is authorized to alter or amend the Group Policy The VA and Prudential signed a revised contract in 2007 saying it was amended in its entirety That contract with the exact same words as the 1965 agreement required that Prudential pay survivors with lump sums

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/va_benefits.html (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Failed Banks May Get Pension-Fund Backing as FDIC Seeks Cash
    chosen to invest through private equity firms using limited partnerships which gives pension funds little to no control over the day to day management of the investments They also pay management fees levied on the amount of money committed as well as a percentage of any profit We ve been examining a broad range of alternatives to take advantage of what I believe are attractive transactions coming out of the FDIC said New Jersey s Kramer The state pension system faced a shortfall of about 46 billion as of last year because of investment declines and a failure to make full contributions according to annual financial reports Oregon State Fund Oregon would invest in Community Bancorp LLC a bank being formed by Sageview Capital LLC according to the Oregon presentation Sageview was founded by former Kohlberg Kravis Roberts Co executives Scott Stuart and Ned Gilhuly Sageview is looking to raise about 1 billion from pension funds and similar investors the presentation said While the structure makes sense pension funds would be better off investing in existing banks said Chris Whalen managing director of Institutional Risk Analytics of Torrance California At those lenders management will oversee details of buying failed lenders and save pension funds the time and effort needed to launch a new bank he said If they are really interested in playing this area they should put their money into a larger bank that s already playing here Whalen said If you look at the risk reward and the distraction involved it s not worth it to back a new bank he said Investing in distressed banks doesn t always pay off as the U S Treasury Department learned with the Troubled Asset Relief Program At least 60 lenders skipped some of their promised dividends to the TARP fund according to SNL Financial and a 2 33 billion stake in CIT Group Inc was wiped out last year when the lender went bankrupt Amegy s Paul Murphy Sageview based in Greenwich Connecticut and Palo Alto California would get yearly fees as an adviser and would also invest about 100 million of its own Ruth Pachman a spokeswoman for Community Bancorp declined to comment Community Bancorp will look to buy three or four banks in the next three years and will be run by Paul Murphy the presentation said Murphy built Houston based Amegy Bank into a 12 3 billion asset lender over more than a decade and it s now owned by Salt Lake City based Zions Bancorporation We re pleased with the Oregon decision Murphy said in an interview He declined to comment further as the group is still raising capital and in a quiet period Spokesman James Sinks at Oregon s Treasury said the state is still negotiating its commitment and declined elaborate Calpers Presentation After the credit crisis ate into private equity returns pension managers started looking for ways to trim fees and boost returns The California Public Employees Retirement System the largest U S public

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/bank_pensions.html (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Dems Target Private Retirement Accounts
    401 k s and spreading spreading the wealth All workers would have 5 percent of their annual pay deducted from their paychecks and deposited to the GRA They would still be paying Social Security and Medicare taxes as would the employers The GRA contribution would be shared equally by the worker and the employee Employers no longer would be able to write off their contributions Any capital gains would be taxable year on year Analysts point to another disturbing part of the plan With a GRA workers could bequeath only half of their account balances to their heirs unlike full balances from existing 401 k and IRA accounts For workers who die after retiring they could bequeath just their own contributions plus the interest but minus any benefits received and minus the employer contributions Another justification for Ghilarducci s plan is to eliminate investment risk In her testimony Ghilarducci said humans often lack the foresight discipline and investing skills required to sustain a savings plan She cited the 2004 HSBC global survey on the Future of Retirement in which she claimed that a third of Americans wanted the government to force them to save more for retirement What the survey actually reported was that 33 percent of Americans wanted the government to enforce additional private savings a vastly different meaning than mandatory government run savings Of the four potential sources of retirement support which were government employer family and self the majority of Americans said self was the most important contributor followed by government When broken out by family income low income U S households said the government was the most important retirement support whereas high income families ranked government last and self first www hsbc com retirement On Oct 22 The Wall Street Journal reported that the Argentinean government had seized all private pension and retirement accounts to fund government programs and to address a ballooning deficit Fearing an economic collapse foreign investors quickly pulled out forcing the Argentinean stock market to shut down several times More than 10 years ago nationalization of private savings sent Argentina s economy into a long term downward spiral Income and Wealth Redistribution The majority of witness testimony during recent hearings before the House Committee on Education and Labor showed that congressional Democrats intend to address income and wealth inequality through redistribution On July 31 2008 Robert Greenstein executive director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities testified before the subcommittee on workforce protections that from the standpoint of equal treatment of people with different incomes there is a fundamental flaw in tax code incentives because they are provided in the form of deductions exemptions and exclusions rather than in the form of refundable tax credits Even people who don t pay taxes should get money from the government paid for by higher income Americans he said There is no obvious reason why lower income taxpayers or people who do not file income taxes should get smaller incentives or no tax incentives

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/dems_target_retirement.html (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Congress may allow IRS credit card access
    businesses that report their income accurately It may be too late to stop the requirement however This becomes very difficult to defeat because of the fact it s become an item that s accepted as a valid revenue raiser that can be used said Giovanni Coratolo director of small business policy for the U S Chamber of Commerce The appeal of the reporting requirement was summed up by Sen Max Baucus D Mont This proposal does not raise taxes on anyone said Baucus who chairs the Senate Finance Committee These information reports would just cause people to file more accurate returns Opponents of the proposal doubt it would raise much revenue however Credit card receipts already show up on a merchant s bank statement so tax cheats aren t likely to under report this income said Kristie Darien executive director of the National Association of the Self Employed The legislation however would require credit card processors to withhold taxes on payments to a merchant whose taxpayer identification number TIN couldn t be verified But there are bound to be errors in the TIN verification process Darien said meaning some small businesses could have 28 percent of their credit card reimbursements withheld until the errors are corrected That could put a severe strain on millions of American families counting on a self employed breadwinner she said Credit card processors said the proposal would cost them millions of dollars as well Our systems do not currently track merchant payment transaction to TINs and it will be extremely expensive and time consuming to reprogram our systems to comply with the new mandates said Kim Stubna director of public policy for Greenwood Village based First Data Corp which processes electronic payments Small businesses fear these costs would be passed on to them through higher

    Original URL path: http://www.911omissionreport.com/irs_credit_card_access.html (2016-02-14)
    Open archived version from archive



  •